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Sunday, April 21, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Zoo Animals Lively Show Keeps Morning Crew Popular With Teens

By Bri Schroeder Mead

Just who are those funny guys in the morning on 93 Zoo FM who make you laugh really hard? And what do they think of their job?

These guys are Dave Sposito and Ken Hopkins, better known as “The Breakfast Boys” to every Zoo Crew Loyal Listener. And they’ve got plenty of them. More than half of the teenagers listening to the radio on any given morning are tuned into the Zoo. The next closest station for teen listeners is KNFR (The Frog), at 11 percent.

Teenagers spend a lot of time with the Zoo, which plays mostly Top-40 music. So it’s about time they learned a little bit more about the guys who wake them up in the morning.

These guys go through a ton of work. It’s not anything you’d imagine. People are always in and out of the sound booth. There are a ton of compact discs, commercials, stickers and, of course, machinery. The machinery is all set up so six commercials can be lined up at a time and two CD players handle all the songs.

When you call to request a song, they might tell you OK, then never get around to it. Sometimes they tell you when it’s coming up.

During a recent morning show, the Boys took some time to answer some questions from Our Generation.

OG: What do you like best about your morning show?

DS: It’s the busiest time of the broadcast day. Most people are listening in the morning. We have more people calling, more contests.

OG: You’ve been doing a lot more promotions lately, with the free money bunny, cheap gas give-away and other things. What’s the benefit?

KH: The benefit for us is just helping out part of the community and increasing our visibility. It’s extra excitement and fun for the audience.

OG: Do you ever get tired of the songs you play?

KH: Not as much as you’d think.

DS: I actually don’t. A few songs, maybe, but when we are playing the music, we’re actually doing other things too … getting callers ready or thinking of what to do next. We really don’t hear the songs, not as much as somebody who’s listening to hear their favorite song.

OG: What about this Tom Brokaw impersonation? Do you want to be him?

DS: Well, no. It’s just I used to watch him a lot on TV, and I talked just like him one day as a joke. I kept doing it and others, but he’s one of my favorites.

OG: Did you like getting ahold of the celebrities?

DS: Yeah, that was one of the more fun things that I’ve done, that couple-week stretch there. Every day we were getting ahold of someone. It was really fun and they were all very nice … with the exception of a couple.

OG: Who was your favorite?

DS: Connie Chung.

OG: If you could choose a new job, what would you choose?

DS: Boy, I don’t really know how to do anything else … maybe I’d be a TV person. I’ve always liked TV, but this is OK. I’ve been doing it for 12 years.

OG: Why do you think the Zoo has such a big teen audience?

KH: We basically try to be the fun station. That appeals to a younger crowd.

OG: Do you try to play requests? About how many requests do you get in an hour?

DS: That varies because in the morning most of the calls are not really requests. They’re for other things … someone has a birthday or they want to play the contests or they’re just calling on their cellular phone. They’re just having fun.

KH: We can’t physically get to every request, there are just too many. Besides, 60 to 70 percent of the time, people are requesting something that’s coming up.

But at night it’s like non-stop requests. Like the Hot 9 at 9; that’s all request-related. We keep track of requests to determine what songs we need to play more often.

OG: What is your favorite song now?

KH: I think Diana King’s “Shy Guy” is probably my favorite.

DS: I like most of Janet Jackson and TLC.

OG: Any final message for your teen listeners?

KH: We’re continually trying to find answers to the complaint “There’s nothing to do in Spokane.” Input from teens on this is very important to us.

Wordcount: 738
Tags: interview

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